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Which Unis should I apply to for Economics FAQ: The Econ uni Application Guide

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Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
Interview Discussion 30-01-2014
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    The Introductory post:
    Should I contact the universities I am interested in?
    Yes always email the universities you are interested in with the detail of your situation.
    This is because most economics departments don’t give that much detail about what they like or don’t like in an applicant. For example do they accept ICT A-level or do they want Further Maths only as 1 of 4 A-levels. So if email them you can avoid applying to uni where you have virtually no chance.

    Should I pick the universities solely on the strength of their economic departments?
    No there are plenty of non-academic factors you should consider. Two are:
    1) How far do you want to be from home?
    Many students go for about 2-3 hours:
    More than that too far to take washing home for the weekend
    Less than that risk parents turning up uninvited on a Sunday morning…..

    This website uses Google Search to work out the time between your home and any UK university. So that could be very useful.

    2) Do you want a city or campus uni?
    This means ideally you should visit universities before applying as if accepted you would be there for 3 years and you need to know what the area is like.

    OK but in terms of economics what are the top places?
    It is commonly accepted that the Top 5 are (LSE, Cambridge/Oxford, UCL/Warwick) (the ordering is mine). You can’t apply for all 5 as you can’t apply for both Oxford and Cambridge. However, lots of people seem to want to apply to 4 of the top 5. I am not necessarily convinced this is necessarily a good idea. I think that if 3 of the top 5 universities say no that the 4th probably will say no as well. Hence there is merit in applying to 2 universities outside the top 5 instead of 1.

    If go to a moderate uni after I complete my degree will I be able to do a masters at a better uni?
    The challenge is not getting offers. If you study econ at an AAA-AAB uni and are predicted a 2:1 or are at an ABB-BBB uni and are predicted a 1st I would expect you to get offers from Top 5 unis such as warwick. The constraint on applicants are financial not academic. And I know Warwick has a target intake of about 100 and ends up with about 80-90.

    Issue is how well you do once you get there. The material taught at undergraduate varies as you go down the table and is no longer a good preparation for msc.

    So what make a stronger application in terms of academics?
    Factors include:
    i) Good AS grades (a's and b's and more a's than b's)
    ii) Good Subject choices (Maths, Economics, Further Maths (1 of 4 rather than 3) an essay subject, a science)
    iii) Good Number of subjects (4-6 AS-levels, 3-5 A-levels)

    And what makes a weaker application in terms of academics?
    Factors include:
    Not having the properties listed above.
    (Special mention for Maths (mandatory at most strong unis) and Economics prefered at most unis and held by 80-90% of students at Top 5 unis))
    In addition check out the generic thread I started on Soft and Hard A-level. That thread documents both uni blacklists and how many students at top unis have each A-level.

    Here are some econ application specific points. Avoid
    i) Overlapping subjects (e.g. Business and Economics)
    ii) Less preferred (i.e. blacklisted) subjects e.g. ICT. see the LSE list. The Cambridge blacklist used to be here. But it is no longer there. So check out my thread for what the Cambridge preferences are.

    Note if you don't have an essay based subject as one of your main A-levels, doing GS as an extra subjects is one way of showing that you can write an essay. But GS will only do you much good outside the Top 10.

    What GCSE grades are required for top places?
    Only LSE and Notts have particular requriements.
    Ideally LSE want 8-10 A*s
    and Notts have given having less than 8 as one reason for rejection.
    (although Notts have given offers to people with less than 8 A*s).

    But generally other unis do not have specific GCSE A* requirements but there are many applications with similar AS and A grades e.g. all grade A actuals at AS and all A predicted at A-level. And so if you have lots of GCSE A* subjects that is one wya of standing out.

    What about doing an A-level in a foreign language if it is my mother tongue?
    The top 10 unis will give you little/no credit.


    Am I at a disadvantage if i only studied 4 AS-levels and am going to carry on with 3 of them to A2?
    Cetribus paribus doing more qualifications gives an advantage. As it:
    i) shows your ability to manage a higher work load
    ii) gives you a broader range of useful skills and knowledge with which to start econ at uni.

    However unis want you to BOTH have an excellent academic record that shows your econ potential and have a PS that shows your econ inclination. So a 4th A-level is not a substitute for a good PS.

    What about courses with year work placements?
    With a 3 year Bsc many students go for summer work placements. So they still offer opportunity for work experience. I don't believe that any of the top places offer sandwich courses and I guess that tells it's own story.

    Is Bsc or Ba better?
    In simple terms a Bsc is more technical and hence better than a Ba.
    (Except for Cambridge and Oxford which are Ba in name but Bsc in content and reputation)

    For the full picture see the wiki.

    I am thinking of applying to 5 London unis (LSE,UCL,RH,SOAS,City). Is this a good idea?
    No.
    TAELT positions are as follows:
    LSE (3) , UCL(4), SOAS (13), RH(28), City (30).
    Hence if LSE and UCL are realistic choices then there are a lot better places out there than the other three.

    What is the situation for International Baccalaureate students?
    The situation with UK unis is different to those on the continent.

    Firstly unis are independent in the UK and don't have to take any notice of the standard UCAS tariffs (included here).

    Secondly just because you expect to meet a uni's entry requirements they do not have to make you an offer. In fact for economics at the top 10 or so places to get an offer students normally need predictions considerably higher than the typical offers.

    What about if I take a qualification such as the German Arbitur that is not listed on the UCAS Tariff Table?
    You should ask your target unis what their typical offer is, as they can vary by uni (even between unis with the same typical A-level offer). So this does mean you do need to ask all the unis you are interested in. But on the upside there may be opportunities: i.e. good places with low Arbitur offers.

    Check out University websites for information on what their converstion rates are. Here is the link for Bristol's.

    How do A-levels and IB compare for Maths?
    I have read (all!) the 80 page UCAS expert group panel report.

    They attempted to compare IB and A-level qualifications. Complicated situation they looked at Chemistry, Geography and Maths. With Maths they concluded that IB Higher level was about 10-20% larger than A-level. But to match A-level FM, need to do Standard Level Further Maths as well. But it is very very rare for students to take HL FM (only 47 students worldwide in May 2003). Finally SL Maths is 2/3 size A-level.

    So my conclusion is that HL Maths students are in a better position that A-level Maths students, but in a significantly worse position than double Maths A-level students (Maths and FM).
    So here are my orderings (best at top)
    1)A-level Maths and Further Maths = HL Maths and SL FM
    2)HL Maths
    3)A-level Maths
    4)SL Maths
    5)AS-level Maths

    So HL Maths candidates are not in as strong a position as double maths A-level candidates in getting offers from the top 10 econ unis.

    I am doing Further Maths and really worried about what grade I will get. Should I be?
    Don't be:
    1) The official Further Math (FM) grade records from JCQ, give the following cummulative perentages:
    grade A 57.5%
    grade B+ 77.8% (77.1%)
    grade C+ 88.9% (88.5%)
    This is the highest grade A rate of any A-level.
    2) with the current module transfer system, modules are swtiched beteen M (Maths)and FM (Further Maths) so as to maximise the FM mark (conditional the Maths grade being an A). i.e. The Exam board assigns modules between M and FM s.t.
    i)The Maths grade is Maximised
    ii)Once the Maths grade is an A, modules are switched between M and FM to maximise the FM grade whilst keeping the M grade as an A.
    3)Few unis demand a specific FM grade.

    Can I go to a mid table uni for undergraduate and then a top uni for an msc? (1)
    At undergraduate level TAELT has 5 ridiculously ridiculously competitive (RRC) unis and 6 ridiculously competitive (RC) unis. At Msc level the picture would be very different. Instead there would be perhaps only 3 RC unis and no RRC unis. For example:
    i) Warwick have places on their msc course every year and have students from places like Cardiff, Sheffield and Royal Holloway.
    ii) Notts this cycle had a student from Kingston.

    Why is there such a big drop in competitivity between Bsc and Msc?
    Well:
    i) Lots of Bsc Econ graduates are very employable and hence don't want or need more education.
    ii)The Msc fees are higher. So unlike at BSc level prices are not artificially low and hence there is not excess demand.

    Can I go to a mid table uni for undergraduate and then a top uni for an Msc? (2)
    Getting into a top uni for Msc is one thing doing well is another. i.e. the material taught varies between top and mid table unis. And whilst there is a natural progression in the material taught between Bsc and Msc at top unis, there is no such guarantee at other unis.

    So in conclusion. Yes you can move up from a mid to a top uni, but:
    i)there are likely to be issues with the material.
    ii)It is expensive and coming from a less good uni it is harder to get funding.

    I have not got an UCAS offer for the uni I really want to go to. Should I re-apply?
    You need to re-apply on a positive not a negative basis. So if you end up at the uni you originally had offers from you regard that as ok. And if you end up at a uni you prefer, you regard that as a bonus.

    This is because:
    1)Getting offers from top unis is very hard.
    2)If you feel like "if I don't get an offer from uni X next time then this year will have been wasted" then that is not a situation to be in emotionally speaking. i.e. your destination is not something you can control (only influence).
    3) You should not really expect a different decision unless you change something major.
    4)Most of the fundamentals you can't change (GCSEs and AS-levels). You can try to do extra A-level but there is an opportunity cost to that and it is hard to get (high)predictions for a course when you need to apply to UCAS not long after starting it.
    5)You can try and improve your PS. And it may be that leaving it a year makes you more aware of why you want to do econ and hence able to do a better PS. But that is not a given: "there is nothing innate about the passage of time that makes that happen".

    So in conclusion re-applying in a desperate attempt to get into uni X is not good. But re-applying after consideration on the following basis can be good:
    i)I may end up at a better uni (possibly my bliss uni).
    ii)But if not I certainly will have improved my skills (academic) which will help me perform well at uni once I get there, had new experiences (travelled) and improved my employability (had work experience).

    What about postgrdauate Economics Applications?
    Check out the Msc Economics Admissions Guide over in the postgraduate forum
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    The Alternative Economics League Table post:
    How can I find out what universities will make me offers?
    Funny you should ask that because my Alternative Economics League Table has been designed to try and help answer just that question:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=619184

    But all the published league Tables are pretty useless. How is yours different?
    Yes the newspaper tables are pretty useless. Mine instead focuses on the hard data:
    i) The uni typical offers for econ as given on UCAS website
    ii) The tariffs actually achieved by students at the uni who study economics.
    I have analysed not just the average tariffs as published in the newspapers but also the breakdown of students into 10 different tariff point categories.

    And how does that help?
    Because it gives an idea of what kind of students are receiving the offers. That way you can see how your projected points compares. Obviously just because you are below average does not mean you have no chance (i.e. by definition there bound to be people below average). But especially if you are a long way down it does suggest you don’t have that much chance.

    So can I get anything out of the Newspaper League Tables?
    Well I have now included each of the 3 league table rankings in the spreadsheet version of TAELT 2009:

    Whilst a lot of the data they are based on is soft, if a uni you are interested in has a particularly high or low set of rankings relative to unis in it's TAELT group then you should investigate further the underlying cause.

    Three unis with particularly high ranks are Warwick, Birmingham and Edinburgh. In two of the cases (Warwick and Edinburgh) I had already recorgnised this and promoted them to .0 subgroups.

    Four unis with particularly low ranks are Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Reading. In the case of Leeds its rankings are one of the factors leading to it's AAB.1.2 status. (Maybe this is evidence of a big city bias. i.e. that certain big city unis can make higher typical offers than could be explained by their non-geographic characteristics.)

    How are the universities grouped?
    Universities are sorted into different groups depending on what typical offers they make and what offers they actually accept. So when there are a lot of universities making a typical offer (e.g. 10 AABs, 13ABBs) they are split into 2 groups depending on how likely they are to accept students with lower actual grades.

    So what are the stylised facts?

    2 main stylised facts.
    1)Applicants initially underestimate difficulty of getting into top unis. (e.g. AAB.1 and up).
    You probably know this by now but to have a reasonable chance of getting into the AAB.1 and above unis you need more than just 3 A2 and 3 AS levels.

    2)Applicants after some research overshoot and over-estimate difficulty of getting into near top unis. (e.g. AAB.2 and below)

    i) AAB.2: 2 examples of AAB.2 unis that are easier to gets than you might expect are York and Southampton (both of which many people would have as Top 10 or near Top 10). In 2008 York made an offer to a student doing Maths, ICT and GS. Whilst Southampton recorgnises a range of qualifications and gives flexible offers:
    http://www.southampton.ac.uk/socsci/.../entryreq.html


    ABB.2:
    A lot of the ABB.2 unis let in students with a lot less than ABB:

    So even if you have more sub-a grades than a grades at AS-level then including some AAB.2 unis in your 5 would not be unreasonable.

    What kind of spread should I go for? (Part 1)
    Firstly apply for your bliss uni. (within reason: not much point in applying to somewhere where you don’t meet the A-level subject requirements or to LSE unless you are a straight As student).

    Secondly you do want an insurance choice. So go for somewhere you have high chance both of getting an offer from and whose offer you have a high chance of achieving.

    Finally the rest of your choices should be in the groups in between.

    Once I have a provisional list of 5 how can I tell how aggressive I am being?

    Well, once you have your AS-levels you should have a pretty good idea of your final A-level grades:
    i)You might expect your A-level grades to be similar to your AS grades except when you drop multiple AS subjects in which case you might expect improvements.
    i) You have your teachers’ predictions,
    iii) You know that half your A-level marks come from AS exams you have already taken.
    From your expected A-level grades you can calculate your expected tariff.

    You can then compare your expected tariff with the actual median tariff of the 5 unis you are targeting. The more unis where you are below the median the more aggressive you are being. And if you are significantly below the median for all 5 that is a very aggressive application.

    You should look at the spreadsheet or the accumulative frequency graphs to find out the full tariff distribution. But here are the median (where available) from the unistat 05/06 data:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    AAA (360 Points) (Need 3 As even if take >3 A-levels)
    Cambridge M** E**p 560-599
    Oxford # M**p 520-559
    LSE M** 480-519
    UCL M**A 480-519

    AAA (360 Points) (non-AAA offers (Durham AABin 2008, Notts AABB))
    Durham M* 440-479
    Nottingham (or AABB) M**pE**p 440-479

    AAB (340 Points) (Green, Blue)
    Warwick (+b in fourth AS) M** 480-519
    Bristol M** 440-479
    Bath M**E**p 440-479
    St Andrews 440-479
    Leeds (Ba) 400-439

    AAB (340 Points) (ABB offers (Exeter, SOAS, Southampton ABBb), black red)
    York M**p 400-439
    Southampton (or ABBb) M*c 400-439
    Exeter M**p 400-439
    Manchester (BSc) M** E**p 400-439
    SOAS 360-399

    ABB (320 Points) (Up to 21% of students have less than 320 points: Glasgow 15%, Birmingham 3%, Manchester (Ba) 6%, Cardiff 10%, Lancaster 21%,, Manchester 6%, Cardiff 10%, Lancastere 21%, Newcastle 7%)
    Glasgow 400-439
    Birmingham 400-439
    Manchester (Ba) 400-439
    Cardiff M** 360-399
    Lancaster 400-439
    Newcastle 400-439

    ABB (320 Points) (More than 21% of students have less than 320 points: Essex 42%,UEA 52%, Leicester 29%, Reading 24%) or accpet lower offers (RH BBB with maths, Sussex (BBB), Loughbourgh (only 200 points from A-levels) Clearing 2007(RH, Essex,UEA,Leicester,Reading) ,Clearing 2008(Essex,UEA,Leicester,Reading )
    Loughborough 360-399
    Sussex 360-399
    Royal Holloway 360-399
    Essex 320-359
    East Anglia 320-359
    Leicester 320-359
    Reading 360-399

    BBB (300 Points) (< 20% of students sub 280 points)
    Edinburgh M*p 440-479
    Sheffield 360-399
    Liverpool 360-399
    Queen Mary M* M**p 320-359
    Queen's Belfast 320-359

    BBB (300 Points) (Atleast 20% of students below 280 points) (City (20%),Surrey (32%), Kent (36%), Swansea (unreported)
    City 320-359
    Surrey 320-359
    Kent 280-319
    Swansea

    BBC (280 Points)
    Strathclyde
    Brunel 280-319
    Aberystwyth
    0
    BCC (260 Points)
    Heriot-Watt
    Hull
    Stirling
    Keele #+Finance
    Coventry 200-239
    Kingston 160-199
    0
    CCC (240 Points) (<20% of studnets sub 240 points) Dundee (5%), Aberdeeen (15%), Ulster (15%)
    Dundee 280-319
    Aberdeen 320-359
    Ulster 360-399

    CCC (240 Points) (Atleast 20% of students some 240 points) Manchester Met (41%), Salford (Unreported), Portsmouth (25%), Nottingham Trent (40%), Hertfordshire (57%), Bradford (Unreported)
    Manchester Met 240-279
    Salford
    Portsmouth 240-279
    Nottingham Trent 240-279
    Hertfordshire
    Bradford 200-239

    CCD (220 Points)
    Central Lancashire
    UWE Bristol 240-279

    CDD (200 Points)
    London Met 160-199
    Liverpool JMU

    DDD (180 Points)
    Greenwich 120-159


    What kind of spread should I go for? (Part 2)
    I tend to classify unis into 3 categories:
    Category 1 Unis you would be surprised to get an offer from
    Category 2 Unis you would be surprised if you did not get an offer from.
    Category 3 Unis you would not be surprised either if you did or did not get an offer from.

    I think you should have unis from all categories:
    no category 1: Under applying. i.e. risk getting 5 offers and then wondering "what if?"
    no category 3: Over applying. i.e. risk getting 0 offers and ending up in clearing/Extra/gap Year
    no category 2: No midfield i.e. if you don't get into your category 1 unis (because they don't make you an offer or you don't make the grades) then you will not end up in a uni which is beneath you.

    note: this analysis assumes you are well informed and honest with yourself about the strength of your application. If not it will only confirm your prejudice!

    Are better universities necessarily in higher groups?
    Well if you believe that better universities make higher offers and attract better qualified students then yes in general you should believe that. But some universities make typical offers below their market clearing levels. Two particular universities I know about deserve health warningsdinburgh and Warwick.

    Why is the Edinburgh offer so low?
    Edinburgh makes BBB offers. But its tariff distribution is comparable to York’s:

    So in terms of how hard it is to get offers think of it as an AAB uni not a BBB uni. Further their student selection basis is holistic and the following factors will all count in your favour:
    i) Attend a school from which few pupils progress to higher education.
    ii) Attend a school which is local (e.g. Edinburgh) or from a nearby region (e.g. Scotland and the English counties which border Scotland).
    iii) Parents did not attend uni
    IV) Serious Disruption to schooling (e.g. Health, disability or family reasons).
    See this post for further background on Edinburgh:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...2&postcount=12

    I don't have a 4th AS-level b grade. Should I still apply to Warwick?
    I would suggest not. I don't have inside knowledge on this matter but:
    i) Warwick are massively oversubscribed. and people who don't meet the AS-level requirements are easy to reject.
    ii) There is an opportunity cost to retaking an AS-level. i.e. it means there is less time to study your other subjects.

    Is Nottingham a good backup uni?
    The simple answer is: No.
    They had 40% too many students starting in October 2008 and there has been, as expected a big reaction this year.
    You should ask Notts what they situation are in your particular situation.
    But rejection candidates are being told that Notts are looking for 7
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...postcount=1518
    or 8 GCSE A*s:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...postcount=2152

    Finally you should check this yourself but previous resit students this cycle have received very discouraging advise about their chances.
    Hence it is hard to be confident that they will make you an offer. Hence they are not a low risk backup choice.
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    The Applicant ratios post:
    I am worried by how high the applicant ratios are. Should I be?
    Firstly they can be misleading. Imagine a country with only 100 applicants and only 5 universities each with 20 places. Then each applicant would have to apply to all 5 universities. So each uni would have 100 applicants, 20 places and hence 5 applicants per place. So we might think of 5 as a reference level.

    Here is the Applicant ratio data I have:
    uni applications per place
    AAA.1
    Cambridge 6 (2007) http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...html#economics
    Oxford 8 ( 2005-7) http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...omics_and.html
    LSE 12 (2007) http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/und.../economics.htm
    UCL 15 http://www.econ.ucl.ac.uk/degrees/faq.pdf

    AAA.2
    Durham
    Nottingham (or AABB) 9 (2007) http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/planning/profiles/

    AAB.1
    Warwick (+b in fourth AS) 12 (2005)
    Bristol http://www.bristol.ac.uk/efm/prospec.../a-levels.html
    Bath 12
    St Andrews
    Leeds (Ba) http://lubswww.leeds.ac.uk/undergrad...ndex.php?id=88

    AAB.2
    York
    Southampton (or ABBb) (or ABBC) (or ABBcc)
    Exeter
    Manchester (BSc)
    SOAS 13 http://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/

    ABB.1
    Glasgow
    Birmingham
    Manchester (Ba)
    Cardiff
    Lancaster
    Newcastle

    ABB.2
    Loughborough
    Sussex
    Royal Holloway
    Essex
    East Anglia
    Leicester
    Reading

    BBB.1
    Edinburgh 11 http://www.sra.ed.ac.uk/admissions/S...gramme2007.htm


    What you would like to know is your chances of getting an offer. That would be the applicants per offer for people like you. What we actually have above is applications per place for everyone.

    Do unis make many more offers than they have places?
    Short Answer: yes (outside the top 3)

    Do you have offers data for any universities?
    For 4 cases I have got the offers data as well as the number of applicants and places.
    i) For Cambridge in 07/08 there were 1159 applications, 193 Offers and 177 admissions. So the applicant per offer ratio is very close to the applicant per place ratio of 6:1. http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...html#economics

    ii) For Edinburgh in 07/08 there were 703 applications, 258 offers and 64 admissions. So the applicant per offer ratio is 3 which is only a quarter of the applicant per place ratio of 11:1
    http://www.sra.ed.ac.uk/admissions/S...gramme2007.htm

    iii) For Durham in 06/07 there were 1,327 applications and 553 offers. So the applicant per offer ratio is about 2.5, which is only a quarter of the applicant per place ratio of 11:1
    2006/7 cycle
    Spoiler:
    Show
    applications to start in 2007 (deferred applications for starting 2008)
    Applications 1200.5 (126.5)
    Offers 501 (52.5)
    Student Accept offer (Firms or Insurance) 208 (27)
    Durham accept student post exams 171.5 (26.5)

    applications
    http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/ug.ad...le0607/2-1.pdf

    offers
    http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/ug.ad...le0607/2-2.pdf

    Applicant replies:
    http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/ug.ad...le0607/2-3.pdf

    Confirmation decisions
    http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/ug.ad...le0607/2-4.pdf


    iv)A TSR poster said that at an UCL Open Day he was told there were 600 offers made for 180 places. The UCL website says there are 15 applicants per place. That means there are 4.5:1 applicants per offer.

    What about other unis?
    I can't see many people turning down LSE or Oxford. So like Cambridge I suspect they make only a few more offers than they have places.

    I don't have hard offers data for other unis. But one measure of high many excess offers they make is how often they end up with more students than they intended. I know 3 cases of this:
    i)Warwick 07 40% excess
    ii)UCL 07 40% excess
    iii) Notts 08 40% excess

    Just read a post on TSR by someone who went to a UCL Open Day and was told they made 600 offers for 180 places. Which is 3:1 offers per place (and 4.5:1 offers per applicant). I guess a lot of the applicants receiving offers from UCL also get offers from other unis they find more attractive (e.g. Oxbridge and LSE). Hence the high rate of offers being declined. So I would expect other unis outside the top 3 similarly to be making 3 or more offers per place.

    3:1 sounds a lot better than 11:1 but I still want to hedge my bets and apply for some variant courses.
    I can understand why you want to hedge. But:
    i) In order to be suitable for the variant subject you risk compromising the PS and not getting in the places you do apply for economics at. There are some exceptions for example Maths and Economics at Warwick, which gives out the same standard offer to all applicants whatever your PS.

    ii) You risk end up with a course you not want to do and 3 years is a long time to spend on a course your heart is not really in.

    iii) Doing multi applications for one uni is not great. Remember admissions tutors will know about other applications at same uni. So may end up looking like you are more interested in the uni than the course.

    iv) Variant courses may be harder not easier to get into. 2 examples:
    a) At Warwick in 2005 for straight economics there were 1185 applications and 104 entrants. (11:1), whilst with Industrial economic there were 116 applications and 5 entrants. (23:1). So the variants has twice the applicants per place of the straight course.
    b) At LSE Straight in 2007 econ is 2,861:236 (about 12:1), Econ with Econ history is 123:5 (about 24:1) and BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics is 282:8 (about 35:1):
    http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/und.../economics.htm

    v)At uni it is a lot easier to transfer from a general course (e.g. straight econ) to a specialist course (e.g. Industrial Econ) than the other way round. This is because straight econ will (generally) involve the teaching of more econ (e.g. twice as much at Warwick) . and you can't easily pick up that large an amount of knowledge.

    What about applying for both Economics and E+M(Economics and Maths)?
    Straight Economics and Economics and Maths are very differernt subjects. Most places (including Warwick) E+M is approximately:
    1st year: Same as stright Maths plus a few Economics courses.
    2nd year: 50:50 Maths: Eocnomics
    3rd Year: 100% Economics.
    (you should check this for yourself at the unis you are interested in)

    So to do E+M you are basically doing stright Maths for the first year. Hence you should make sure you understand what you are letting yourself in for:
    1) uni Maths is formal c.f. Intuitive at School.
    2) uni Maths is all Definition, Theorem, Proof, Definition, Theorem, Proof, Definition, Theorem, Proof, Definition, Theorem, Proof......
    3) in terms of content it is stuff like:
    i) Foundations (Set theoretic explanation of why 2+2=4)
    ii) Analysis (proof of why differentiation and Integration work).

    If you are not interested in such conrtent or format then E+M is not a great option for you.

    What about Economics and Econometrics?
    Econometrics is the application of statistics to econometric data. Straight economics courses at good universities will include a substatational amount of econometrics modules. This is because economists want to be scientific and econometrics gives them the tools to test their theories. So before choosing "Economics and Econometrics" over straight Economics, you should check out what difference that will make to the modules you take.
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    QAA Reports:
    source http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews/reports...s.asp?subjID=1

    Strengths
    i) assessed on common basis
    ii) group include economists
    iii) Leeds and SOAS at bottom of their groups with low points

    Weaknesses
    i) old: 2001
    ii) include msc courses
    iii) more to do with competency than excellance
    iv) box ticking
    v) only covers ENG and NI
    vi) separate review basis for Scotland and Wales

    conclusion one of a range of factors worth considering

    comments: I have processed the Scottish reviews and tried to put them onto a common basis with the English data.



    Output analysis:
    How can I know what kind of jobs a course will get me into?
    For output data check out the output page of the excel version of the Alternative Economics League Table. Currently for all the AAA-BB universities I have the 1st destination job data from unistats . This gives the top 10 jobs for each uni.. The spreadsheet has 1 row per uni and 1 column per job so comparisons can be made.
    For the AAA-ABB.1 groups:




    and for the AAB.2-BBB groups:


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    Where should I apply to?
    Well If you are confident of getting AAB then even if your application has weaknesses then go for:

    1 Bliss Uni
    2 AAB.1.1
    2 AAB.2.1

    But will I not get 5 rejections? e.g. I have no GCSE A*s And are not all top unis really competitive to get into?
    York and Southampton are both top 15 unis. But they are not hard to get offers from. e.g. in admission cycle 07/08 York made an offer to an applicant doing 3 A-levels of Maths, GS and ICT. Similarly Southampton have made offer to students with grades b and c in maths and econ at AS.

    But what about if I screw up my exams?
    Well the full Southampton offer is AAB/ABBb/ABBC/ABBcc. So if you have a 4th AS-level b then you only need ABB at AS-level. in 08 York let in people with York offers who only managed ABB. (No guarantee York will do the same thing this year.But it would not surprise me)

    But I am pessimist
    Then add in a ABB.1 insurnace uni as well as the 2 AAB.1.1 unis.

    What about if my application is stronger. Do I still need a AAB.2 uni?
    Above AAB.2.1 it gets very competitive. So unless you are doing 4 A-levels (and that means traditional subjects (preferably including FM).), please include something at the AAB.2.1 level. i.e. you don't want to over apply and end up with nothing.

    But if you are confident about the strength of your application then a good 5 if you have 4 A-levels might be:
    1 AAA.0
    1 AAB.0/AAA.1
    1 AAA.2.1
    2 AAB.1.1

    So when should I apply to more top unis?
    Well you need a lot academically. e.g. 5 or more good A-levels and 8 GCSE A*s.
    e.g. Notts have started rejecting candidates because they have less than 7 GCSE A*s.
    (If you go to a crap school then you might get away with a bit less).

    In that case you might go for:
    2 AAA.0
    2 AAB.0/AAA.1
    1 AAA.2.1/AAB.1.1

    Haven't got any replies yet! My application was sent off about a month ago. Should I be worried or is this normal?
    Firstly university admissions are beaurcratic. i.e. multiple levels of people process each application. So it can take time.

    Secondly the situation is different depending on how competitive the uni is. i.e. some unis make offers to a lot of applicants and let the A_level exam results determine their students. These unis can be quick (very quick) at making offers. Hard to be exact but the cutoff is about the AAB.2.1 level.

    Thirdly with top unis the lack of offers means your application is not one of the very strongest (e.g. top 5-10% at the unis you are applying to).

    But on the upside the lack of rejections means it is not a weak application (e.g. bottom 20%).
    i.e. the top unis don't make that many offers until after the January 15th closing date.

    Will there being any good econ unis in clearing?
    Few good econ courses end up formally in clearing (e.g. listed in the Independent or online at the UCAS website).

    However if unis are short on a course and don't want to go into clearing formally then they can just accept students who ring up on Results Day.

    Warwick did that in 2008 e.g. they made too few offers as they had 40% too many students the previous year.

    But I would expect them only to be after free agents. i.e. applicants without Firm (or Insurance) offers. But if you do have an offer you meet but are interested in another uni then you can still ring up and ask even about spaces even if they are not formally listed on the UCAS website (or in the Independent Newspaper) as being in clearing for economics.

    Note: I have been working on this for a while. It is not complete but I thought I would post what I have. Please post possible future questions below.
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    Wow I don't think prospective economics applicants need to look anywhere else...This is the ultimate ressource. Well done!
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    Nice one Paul.
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    (Original post by Krush)
    Wow I don't think prospective economics applicants need to look anywhere else...This is the ultimate ressource. Well done!
    Helpful? I hope so.
    Good? maybe
    Ultimate? No
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    Nice one. Might want to put 'I am worried by how high the applicant ratios are.' in italics or something though (top of thread 3) as it sounds like YOU are worried about it
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    (Original post by Waheyyyy)
    Nice one. Might want to put 'I am worried by how high the applicant ratios are.' in italics or something though (top of thread 3) as it sounds like YOU are worried about it
    I have re-written the start of post 3 to make it clearer.
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    Read the 'which unis for 3/4/5' thread and got me wondering as well.

    I've got AAA grades at A2, AA at AS.

    My 'definites' are LSE/UCL - I would like to stay in London if possible and these are the best for Econ (although is it wise to use up two of my 5 on relative longshots?) Then I've got 3 to decide...last year I got rejected from LSE, UCL, Warwick and Bristol, getting an offer from Leeds AAB - for a variety of reasons (I created a thread about it a while back); personal statement, late application, less than AAA predicted etc etc.

    I'm thinking for the remaining 3 I'd go for another AAA (say Nottingham?), an AAB group 1 (Warwick? Or is it too 'dangerous' to put in so many hard to get into unis? If not, Bath?, and an AAB group 2 (Exeter/York/Soton). If I did get an offer from Leeds last year, could I 'safely' leave out an AAB group 2 and have an extra AAB group 1 (as said, Bath?)

    My provisional 'list' is therefore:

    LSE
    UCL
    Nottingham
    Warwick/Bath/Bristol
    York/Southampton/Exeter

    So...is this too ambitious or is this just the right sort of balance? Can I afford to sacrifice a AAB2 to squeeze another AAB1?

    This assumes my personal statement is at the very least decent, and I actually manage to send my app on time this year.
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    Are better universities necessarily in higher groups?
    Well if you believe that better universities make higher offers and attract better qualified students then yes in general you should believe that. But some universities make typical offers below their market clearing levels. Two particular universities I know about deserve health warnings:
    1) Warwick makes AABb offers. It would easily clear at AAA
    2) Edinburgh makes BBB offers. But its tariff distribution is comparable to York’s:

    So in terms of how hard it is to get offers think of it as an AAB uni not a BBB uni. Further their student selection basis is holistic and the following factors will all count in your favour:
    i) Attend a school from which few pupils progress to higher education.
    ii) Attend a school which is local (e.g. Edinburgh) or from a nearby region (e.g. Scotland and the English counties which border Scotland).
    iii) Parents did not attend uni
    IV) Serious Disruption to schooling (e.g. Health, disability or family reasons).
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...ighereducation
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...sstouniversity

    I dug up some interesting old articles. Hope this will be useful.
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    (Original post by sv90)
    Read the 'which unis for 3/4/5' thread and got me wondering as well.

    I've got AAA grades at A2, AA at AS.

    My 'definites' are LSE/UCL - I would like to stay in London if possible and these are the best for Econ (although is it wise to use up two of my 5 on relative longshots?) Then I've got 3 to decide...last year I got rejected from LSE, UCL, Warwick and Bristol, getting an offer from Leeds AAB - for a variety of reasons (I created a thread about it a while back); personal statement, late application, less than AAA predicted etc etc.

    I'm thinking for the remaining 3 I'd go for another AAA (say Nottingham?), an AAB group 1 (Warwick? Or is it too 'dangerous' to put in so many hard to get into unis? If not, Bath?, and an AAB group 2 (Exeter/York/Soton). If I did get an offer from Leeds last year, could I 'safely' leave out an AAB group 2 and have an extra AAB group 1 (as said, Bath?)
    It might help if you included a link to your previous thread. Also when you say that LSE and UCL are long shots do you mean in general or that there is a particluar reason that they are long shots for you?
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    (Original post by TSRreader)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...ighereducation
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...sstouniversity

    I dug up some interesting old articles. Hope this will be useful.
    Yes thanks for that. They are very interesting. The 2nd is slightly misleading when it says about State Pupils needing lower grades for Edinburgh. Reality is that all successfull applicants get the same BBB offer. Just that disadvanteged applicants can get that offer even with lower actual AS grades and lower predicted A-level grades.
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    I meant in general really. It sounds like even the very top candidates (which I don't see myself as) have trouble getting in.

    Thread here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=592254
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    Hey just a quick question...
    What do you guys think about studying economics at Queen Mary university?
    I mean i didnt see it on the table you posted so i was just curious.
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    (Original post by swirlwood)
    Hey just a quick question...
    What do you guys think about studying economics at Queen Mary university?
    I mean i didnt see it on the table you posted so i was just curious.
    Here is the link to The Alternative Economics League Table:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=619184
    (which I have updated the AELT post above to include!)

    Queen Mary is in the table (it is 4th of the BBB.1 unis).
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    2 additional questions and answers added to post 1.
    So what make a stronger application in terms of academics?
    Factors include:
    i) Good AS grades (a's and b's and more a's than b's)
    ii) Good Subject choices (Maths, Economics, Further Maths (1 of 4 rather than 3) an essay subject, a science)
    iii) Good Number of subjects (4-6 AS-levels, 3-5 A-levels)
    And what makes a weaker application in terms of academics?
    Factors include:
    Not having the properties listed above.
    (Special mention for Maths (mandatory at most strong unis) and Economics prefered at most unis and held by 80-90% of students at Top 5 unis))
    In addition:
    i) Overlapping subjects (e.g. Business and Economcis)
    ii) Less preferred (i.e. blacklisted) subjects (e.g. ICT. see cambridge and LSE lists:
    http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ex.html#course
    http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/under...d-subheading5)
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    This needs to be stickied methinks.
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    (Original post by Moogen)
    This needs to be stickied methinks.
    I am pleased you like it. :o:

    Latest update:
    What about courses with year work placements?
    With a 3 year Bsc many students go for summer work placements. So they still offer opportunity for work experience. I don't believe that any of the top places offer sandwich courses and I guess that tells it's own story.

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Updated: December 10, 2013
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